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Local law enforcement officials receive state traffic safety awards
Two local law enforcement officials were recognized last week by Washington state's Traffic Safety Commission for their efforts in helping to reduce the number of impaired and drunk drivers on San Juan County's roads.
On April 18, the state Safety Commission named San Juan County Sheriff Rob Nou and deputy prosecutor Kim McClay as recipients of the state's Target Zero Traffic Safety Awards.
Nou and McClay were recognized, in part, for arranging for every Sheriff's deputy to receive specialized training in 2011 in the investigation of DUI cases, administering field sobriety tests, handling situations in which a driver refuses to submit to a breath test and in writing effective reports, areas which help in the prosecution of crimes ranging from DUI to vehicular homicide.
“DUI is consistently the most frequently committed crime in the state of Washington,” Nou said in last week's congratulation ceremony with the County Council. “Nationwide, it’s responsible for, in the ballpark of 30,000 deaths each year. The removal of impaired drivers from the road is, in a very real sense, homicide prevention.”
Prosecuting Attorney Randy Gaylord praised McClay and Nou for their initiative.
“I’m really proud of them for what they’re doing for our community,” Gaylord said. “They have taken their own initiative and exercised their own leadership to accomplish what they have done to earn this award.”
Founded on an ambitious goal, Target Zero seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities in the state by 2030. Safety officials maintain that a major part of achieving that goal rests with getting impaired drivers off the road. The statewide awards are given to a wide range of community leaders, law enforcement personnel, engineers and others who “go beyond their job duties” to improve safety on the road.
McClay, who is stepping down from her post with the prosecutor’s office for a position as a corporate lawyer on the mainland, describes the award as, “a great way to end my career as a prosecutor.”
She adds, “Working alongside Sheriff Nou has been a privilege. He is truly doing great things and guiding the Sheriff’s department into the future.”